Privatization: your Social Security could have crashed too

Privatization: the Republican economic philosophy that government sucks and we should turn over government functions and agencies to private enterprise, which in its infinite unregulated free market wisdom will make the rich richer and the rest us dumpster-diving. In the case of Social Security our personal accounts could be invested in various managed investment funds…

Yesterday Barack Obama said current Wall Street woes prove that the Republican economic philosophy has failed, but he hasn’t yet pointed out the obvious: if McCain had had his way, that would be our Social Security money Wall Street is losing.

John Neffinger at Huffington Post says:

…not that long ago we had a rare political moment in this country, a moment where the public sat up and took notice of economic policy — and spoke out and made its voice heard too. When George W. Bush made it to term #2, he decided to try to privatize social security to reward his supporters on Wall Street with a new source of capital, customers, and fees. (Those would be the same people whose firms are now cratering under the weight of the bad debt they recklessly took on while Republican regulators looked the other way).

But as it turned out, we Americans were not about to let our elected representatives turn over our social security taxes to Wall Street financiers to gamble with if it meant losing the guaranteed income that has allowed millions upon millions of American seniors to live out their sunset years with at least a basic measure of dignity.

But while ordinary Americans spoke out, John McCain stood with Bush (hugged him awkwardly in public, even), against the American people. In fact, just six months ago, McCain again let slip his fondness for privatization…

It’s time to remind Americans what the world would look like if John McCain was in charge of our economic policy. Plenty of people are losing plenty of their retirement savings as it is. But if we had let Bush and McCain privatize social security, some of those people would be losing a lot more. And a lot of other people with less retirement savings would be hurting even more, because they depend on social security to cover basic needs.

This is something Americans understand: social security is secure, and the stock market is anything but. There are few more personal or dramatic ways to illustrate McCain’s terrible judgment than to imagine the nightmare scenario so many Americans would face if McCain and Bush had gotten their way on this — or if McCain were to get his way as President.

Wakie, wakie! Can we talk about something besides pigs, lipstick and bridges to nowhere?

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